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The PAEX (Participatory Agricultural Extension) programme funded by VVOB, a Belgian non-profit organisation, started in 2008 as the continuation of two earlier projects in the period 2001-2007. The main goal of the programme is to build capacity in the Extension Workers (EWs) and the Farmers’ Clubs (FCs) especially related to methodological skills, in order to have a better performing agricultural extension system.

PAEX is implemented in three provinces of the Mekong Delta (An Giang, Hau Giang and Soc Trang) and two provinces in South-East Vietnam (Ba Ria-Vung Tau and Binh Phuoc).

In these five provinces VVOB collaborates with the Agricultural Extension Centre (AEC), Department of Agriculture and Rural Development (DARD), Women’s unions (WU) and Farmers’ Associations (FA) to promote participatory methods in agricultural extension (Participatory Rural Appraisal, Participatory Technology Development and Participatory Farmer Club Operation and Management). VVOB also supports capacity building for training, facilitation and coaching skills.

Since 2009 26 ‘Trainers of Trainers’ were trained which in turn trained/ train new trainers, extension workers (EW), FC and MO members. The training – supported by materials that we developed in very close cooperation with our partners - ranges from participatory development of new technologies to issues regarding the Farmers’ clubs (leadership, administration of clubs; experiments,…). In all more than 4,000 FC, EW and MO participations were registered in 2008-2012. Clubs and extension workers were trained in participatory extension planning so their plans can be in line with official guidelines while based on local resources and needs.

This ToT Manual is based on five years of practical experiences by PAEX (VVOB) in developing high quality, learner centered training in five Southern provinces, Vietnam, on training courses organized by MDF and T&C Consulting for VVOB funded programme, on training documents of SFDP Song Da (GTZ), the Regional Community Forestry Training Center for Asia and the Pacific (RECOFTC), Development for International Development (DFID), Mekong River Commission, and additional inputs of VVOB consultants, IAS researchers, Can Tho Rural Development College (Cần Thơ University) lecturers. To finalize the development of this manual, a five-day workshop was held in July, 2011 where core trainers developed training programs and session plans.

The PTD manual you are holding is result of the efforts of all of the PAEX staff, the staff of IAS and RDC (Can Tho University) assigned to PAEX, the AEC and key-trainers of the five PAEX provinces.

The manual is part of our effort to improve provincial training capacities, which in turn aims to strengthen the use of participatory methodologies in extension, grassroots planning, and community management.

If you want to use these materials, feel free to do so without our permission though we would appreciate very much if you let us know how, when and where the manual is used.

Introduction to the Training Manual

The development of a Training Manual is critical to achieving the objectives of the Participatory Agricultural Extension Program and in building capacity among a ToT trainers pool, extension workers, staff of mass organizations, and farmer club management boards.

This Training Manual originally supported a five-day training activity on Participatory Technology Development (PTD), however it can be adjusted for different lengths of training sections.

1. Purpose

The manual is addressed primarily to the people in an organization who are responsible for staff development and who plan and carry out training activities. They are referred to here as ‘trainers”

2. How the Training Manual was developed

Based on training experiences of core ToT trainers of five provinces and support of researchers, trainers of VVOB, PAEX partners (IAS, Can Tho University), all the key PTD concepts of were noted down and ToT trainers pool elaborated training sections and session plans for four working days. At the same time, this Manual was developed using resources from several existing PTD documents and other training consultancy, NGOs.
Through the Manual, you will finds these icons to help guide you:

  • Session Plan
  • Handouts
  • Session Support Material

3. Overview of the content of the Manual

This Manual contains twelve chapters and four annexes. In each chapter, there are sessions plans and reference documents referred to in the chapter and provided at the beginning of each chapter. The twelve chapters are:

  • Chapter 1: Starting a training program
  • Chapter 2: What is PTD?
  • Chapter 3: PTD principles and features
  • Chapter 4: Roles of extension workers, researchers, farmers in PTD process
  • Chapter 5: Skills and attitudes of extension workers in PTD
  • Chapter 6: Supporting tools for PTD
  • Chapter 7: PTD process and farmer club setting up
  • Chapter 8: Identification of difficulties and constraints
  • Chapter 9: Search for solutions
  • Chapter 10: Experiments and M&E of experiments
  • Chapter 11: Upscaling
  • Chapter 12: Basic training skills and knowledge (Part 1: Introducing training and learning; Part 2: training design, training strategy, training objective and session planning; Part 3: training methods, Part 4: facilitation and coaching skills).

Four annexes contain information on training techniques and other resources:

  • Annex 1: A possible training plan
  • Annex 2: Logistics arrangement for training
  • Annex 3: Monitoring and evaluation of training
  • Annex 4: Energizers
  1. Relaxers, getting to know each other, warm-up
  2. Games focusing on team dynamics
  3. Games related to training sessions.

To support these training sessions, trainers/facilitators may access nine short video clips through the youtube channel of VVOB Vietnam or contact VVOB Hanoi office (Ms. Phuong Anh) through e-mail:

  • Video clip 1: Steps for setting up a farmer club
  • Video clip 2: Identification of crops, animals as priority
  • Video clip 3: Problem trees
  • Video clip 4: Search for solutions
  • Video clip 5: Arrangement of an experiment
  • Video clip 6: Monitoring and evaluation of an experiment
  • Video clip 7: Field conference
  • Video clip 8: Chairing a club meeting
  • Video clip 9: A study tour of a farmer club

After participants watch a video clip as the first step of experiential learning cycle (experience), they can reflect on and observe these experiences from different perspectives, discuss and analyze this experience as the second step of learning cycle. The last three minutes of the video clip are used for the third step of learning cycle as a conclusion - to create concepts that integrate participants ‘observations into logically sound theories.

Other relevant documents

Other reference documents can be found through the VVOB Vietnam website:

  • PRA – PRA tools used in PTD
  • PTD – Participatory Development Technology
  • PTD – Field guide for extension workers and club heads
  • PTD – Q&A on PTD and club management
  • ToT manual on participatory club operation and management.

4. How to use this manual

The training programmes outlined in this manual are based upon adult learning principles, learning through openness, participation and constructive feedback, challenging participants through questions and periods of critical reflection, engaging various styles of learning including the use of energizers and games.

It was specifically designed to support an intensive Training of Trainers programme for core trainers who now have responsibility to further adapt the material presented in this manual to the specific training context of their province and deliver training programs for different stakeholders (young ToT trainers, extension workers, clubs, mass organizations). It is meant to facilitate the design of local PTD training events and stimulate the development of training aids adapted to the local context, needs and resources. This training manual is not intended to be a resource for a ‘standard’ course in PTD, and does not suggest a predetermined course outline.

Consider to adapt the training material to your participants:

  • Changing material to relate to the specific regional context or supporting organization of the target group.
  • Removing information or adding information to ensure it is current or accurate.
  • Changing the level of language used to suit the target group.
  • Modifying information to suit policy and regulatory frameworks.
  • Adding information, activities, and assessment methods specific to learning programme
  • Providing sources of further information reading, websites, ect.
  • Channing the sequence of material.
  • Changing the context of generic material to related to the learners’ specific situation.

Feel free to adapt and share these materials. Please send us your comments about and experiences with these materials.

Mr. Wilfried Theunis (Dr.)
VVOB Country Programme Manager